Our life in Hoi An was quite a contrast to the one we had in Hue. Where temples, palaces and tombs had occupied most of our time in Hue, in Hoi An it was all about the shopping. And to the surprise of all of us, it was dad – the ultimate hater of shopping – who did the most. He decided that he would commission a shirt and leather jacket as the city has become famed for it’s tailoring. However, at every single fitting, in every single shop, he not only lost his temper but managed to make the tailors lose theirs as well. I fear none of us will ever be welcomed back to the city as we have been marked as pariahs.
The beautiful ancient town of Hoi An was set along the riverbanks and teemed with tourists, stalls and boutique shops – all housed in ancient buildings. Within the city you were only able to cycle or walk which added its romantic atmosphere. In the centre of town, there was a tin-roofed, traditional market building which all of us were drawn to. Where most of the restaurants in Hoi An catered to a most western palate, the market place offered more authentic Vietnamese food at more local prices. Every lunch we would feast on Cau Lau (a traditional Hoi An noodle dish with gravy), fermented fish and stewed water spinach. All of which never came to more than £1!